Text: 3 John 1-8
The letter is written by John dedicated to Gaius—who is an elder of an uncertain church. Probably, a church at Corinth or Ephesus, or another place. Again, since this is an epistle, this is designed to be read out loud to the entire church. Hence, the address is to everyone.
John designed his letter by commending his brother Gaius to what they have been doing regarding their support to ministerial workers, missionaries, and church planters—in a word, Gospel-proclaimers.
In verse 1, John addressed Gaius as his beloved brother in Christ. Furthermore, he said that this love is grounded in truth. It states, “whom I love in truth.” Others would say, “whom I truly love.” But the word order here seems logical as well. Why? Because I believe, love is not grounded only in feelings or emotions.
Since Jesus is the Truth as stated in John 14:6, then we ought to love our beloved brothers and sisters in Christ in the truth of Jesus—a gospel-shaped love. In verse 2, we pray that everything is well with you. We pray that their soul-spiritual health—is well too.
Studying the rest of the verses, I will list 3 important duties as Christians to fulfill our assigned tasks.
Duty to Build Relationship
Verses 5-6, these strangers were treated as if they are not. Meaning, they were able to build relationships with these people. Knowing them, understanding, and loving them in Christ.
Duty to Give
Verse 7 indicates that these preachers, missionaries do not ask for money in exchange for the gospel of Christ. Unlike the ancient philosophers, sophists, Christian missionaries are not motivated by money.
However, in verse 8, John said a strong imperative—a command—“Therefore, we ought to support people like these.” WE OUGHT TO SUPPORT! There is a duty to give.
Duty to be Fellow Workers
Given that we can be fellow workers through prayers. However, we should be careful about the so-called “false spirituality.” True spirituality in Christ is that character. If you can, yet you suppress it, then there is something wrong in your heart.
- Put up a bulletin board where we can see our missionary updates, so we can post pictures, and their names so we are all aware of them.
- Send teams to visit them and help for specific purposes.
- Get to know our missionaries.
When we follow these things, what did John say? “I have no greater joy than these…” meaning, may this also be our ultimate joy in Christ. Doing and supporting missions and church planters.
Ptr. John Paul Arceno
UCBC New Jersey
October 31, 2021
This section is an excerpt only; download the full manuscript here.